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The UK Adds Nerve Disorder as Side Effect of Covid 19 Vaccine

The UK drug regulator added an extremely rare nerve-damaging disorder, Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), as a very rare side effect of the AstraZeneca (AZN.L) Covid 19 vaccine, updates on the agency’s website showed on Thursday. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) decision comes after the European medicines agency added GBS as a possible side-effect last month.

Valneva SE on Monday (Oct 18) said its experimental Covid 19 vaccine demonstrated efficacy at least as good, if not better than AstraZeneca’s shot in a late-stage trial comparing the two, with significantly fewer adverse side effects. Valneva, among a handful of drugmakers testing their vaccines against one already in use, is hoping its candidate, which uses more traditional technology than the mRNA vaccines, could be a more reassuring option for Europeans still reluctant to be immunised.

Valneva’s VLA2001 vaccine triggered a significantly stronger immune response, he said, suggesting that protection against Covid 19 in terms of antibody response would be « at least as good, if not better than the AstraZeneca vaccine. Finn noted that both vaccines were highly effective, particularly against severe diseases. No participants were hospitalised with Covid 19 during the trial. Valneva’s trial was conducted while the highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus, responsible for recent global spikes in Covid 19 hospitalization and death, was already circulating widely.

Valneva said it aims to submit the data to Britain’s regulator in November for possible approval by the end of 2021 and hopes to win approval from the EU by the end of March next year. The company plans to continue manufacturing its vaccines at a site in Scotland.

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